Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Mapping Your Way to Savings

Finding hotels, restaurants, and shops is no longer just an exercise in looking them up in a reference such as the Yellow Pages online, Yelp, or a simple web search.  We want a visual, too.  Using services such as Google Street Maps, we not only can find what place we are looking for, but also what it looks like from the outside.  One day, we will probably have inside access, too.

One example in mobile form of how mapping capability is meeting our savings needs is the American Automobile Association's (AAA) discount finder app.  Here is a screen shot to the left:

Just search an area by zip code or address and a list of available discounts (which you can customize) appears.  Show your card and off you go.  They should integrate this capability with their desktop site as it would be more helpful than the "directory" type view they offer.

Below, is another example of discount mapping from Restaurants.com, which offers dining discounts at a variety of bars and restaurants throughout the U.S.  In this example, I selected a restaurant in DC, and when I did, the site provided a helpful Street View so I'd know where I am going.

In the future, I'd expect a lot more mash-ups of mapping and discount opportunities.